How do you make sure your hotel’s booking engine is the best of the best? There are many different ways of crafting a booking engine, but there are a few tried and tested principles to stick by to ensure yours leads to plenty of conversions and happy hotel guests.
Digital Hotelier engineers one of the most advanced booking engines available, with a host of featured designed to increase direct bookings and boost reservation rates for both boutique and larger chain hotels. We know what it takes to create a brilliant booking engine to power direct bookings. Read on to find out what the essentials are and what features you should be looking for in your own engine, over and above the obvious options.
No potential hotel guest wants to go through the booking process only to be smacked with a range of unexpected charges right at the end. Clear, understandable pricing helps give your users a sense of control – both over their own finances, and over their future hotel stay. If you want to avoid abandoned bookings, then instituting a clear and coherent pricing strategy throughout the booking engine is a good place to start. Show different options for different room types and make the cost of any extras such as breakfast clear.
Speedy Load Times
Your prospective hotel guests don’t want to wait around for pages to load; in cases where they are inputting sensitive information such as addresses or payment details, this can be particularly off-putting. Opt for a mobile-friendly booking engine which prioritises speed.
Date Selection Tools
Ensuring your hotel guests can easily check the availability of their chosen dates before proceeding through the booking system shows care and attentiveness to their needs. When offering data selection tools, consider that a large percentage of travellers now research forthcoming travel on mobile devices – so avoid tiny calendars and fiddly options. Your date selection must be easily workable from the smaller screens of mobile devices.
Rate Comparison Tools
Including a rate comparison tool within your hotel booking engine helps swerve bookings away from OTAs and towards your own website. It is also a great way of giving your hotel guests a feeling of control and affirming the value for money your hotel provides in comparison to your competitors.
Currency and Language Options
Depending on the location of your hotel and the range of hotel guests you expect to attract, incorporating the option to make a booking in a different currency and/or a different language is a great way of giving your guests a chance to personalise their stay. It will also increase the reach of your hotel’s booking engine, to take account of overseas or foreign visitors who may not be fluent enough in your hotel’s native language to confidently make a booking.
Giving your customers the chance to book using the payment method of their choice will help bolster bookings and show you are responding to the different needs of your hotel guests. Adding the option to store card details will help make those much-desired future bookings a step simpler, and is a great best practice within booking engines for hotels
A detailed confirmation e-mail which gives your customers the chance to check over their booking information and get hold of any information required for check-in helps to give peace of mind to end-users, increasing the likelihood they will book again.